squint 02A

My Body Doing Its Best Without Me, And Then You See The Mouth Open As If It Wanted To Say Something (2023)

Christof Migone & Alexandre St-Onge

A 6-panel cd sleeve with a 12-page booklet featuring the soundtracks of four performances. All audio was significantly reedited and remixed in 2022 for this publication.

  1.        l’étranglement (22:09)
  2.        Vito Acconci’s undoing (10:30)
  3.        seize me by the horns (9:04)
  4.        Disclosure (14:16)

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l’étranglement (2000-2022)

Strangling the love out of each other while guest André-Éric Létourneau checks his pulse and tracks his blood flow using a medical device. We placed contact mics on each other’s throats. The throats swallowed, the strangling arms shook and sweated.

Performed at Casa del Popolo, Montréal, July 29, 2000. An excerpt appeared on the CD accompanying Christof Migone’s Sound Voice Perform (Errant Bodies Press, 2005). This version of l’étranglement lasts the total duration of the performance. The video was edited and mixed in 2021 (glitches in video courtesy of mismatched codecs). Audio reedited and remixed in 2022 for this publication.

Vito Acconci’s undoing (2001-2021)

Dedicated to all salivaphiles.

Inspired by Vito Acconci’s video Waterways: 4 Saliva Studies (1971), Alexandre uses a CD to welcome his spit, and Christof slowly tilts his spit bottle. Both videos were performed in 2001 and mixed together in 2021. The soundtrack to the original piece by Acconci (used by permission) as well as undo’s remix, Vito Acconci’s undoing, appeared on a CD release by squint fucker press in 2001 (squint 00D). Audio reedited and remixed in 2021 for this publication.

seize me by the horns (2000-2022)

Stuffing canned snails into our mouths, ears, noses—we mined our bucal cavities for fluid sonorities—then we deranged our electronics.

The recording of the performance in a kitchen on the Plateau in Montréal appeared on the last track of undo’s (Christof Migone & Alexandre St-Onge) first publication and the inaugural release of squint fucker press in 2000, un sperme qui meurt de froid en agitant faiblement sa petite queue dans les draps d’un gamin (squint 00A). The same year we performed the piece in front of a live audience at the No Music Festival in London, Ontario. The contorted textual component in the video is from “Turn, turn, turn: undo’s dizzy tactics”, a performative presentation presented at the first Tuning Speculation: Experimental Aesthetics and the Sonic conference, November 1-2, 2013, at Arraymusic in Toronto. The video of the performance was edited and mixed in 2021. Audio reedited and remixed in 2022 for this publication.

Disclosure (2001-2021)

One, laying flat along a corridor. Two, hiding in a small space. Three, holding the arm of the other.

Disclosure was performed four times over three days for the PUBLIC SPACES/PRIVATE PLACES series curated by Paul Couillard for FADO, June 28-30, 2001. The location was an empty apartment at 228 1/2 Parliament St., Toronto.

An excerpt of the audio plus photo documentation and the artist statement were originally published in Surface Tension: Problematics of Site (Errant Bodies Press, 2003). The video of the performance was edited and mixed in 2021. Audio reedited and remixed in 2022 for this publication.

lie. site: corridor, second floor. laying flat on our backs with a small speaker coming down from the ceiling into our open mouths, the voice of one is heard via the mouth cavity of the other. as they come up the stairs, the audience encounters the longitudinal line of our bodies, they have to step over one set of feet to enter. we have closed all the windows and doors, during a heatwave. it is stifling. a dimmer jerry-rigged with a small motor dims the two bare light bulbs up and down up continuously. the motor buzzes, it overheats at times interrupting the dimming until it cools down. the abandoned rooming house oozes its past. paul, the curator, found a court summons for a case of bodily harm in the kitchen as he cleaned up the place for us. to occupy an empty apartment is to fill it with its own emptiness, to saturate it with nothing. to disclose is to open yourself up to closeness, a reduction of distance, a proximate and narrow. how to read a corridor as a throat. duration: 30 minutes.

close. site: bathroom and closet, third floor. after lie we move upstairs and we begin by taking unhinged doors to block ourselves in. one in a bathroom, the other in a closet. two small black and white tv monitors are in the room which includes the closet and is adjacent to the bathroom, they show a live feed from the inside of the cramped enclosures. two amplifiers are in a windowless room diffusing the sound we produce inside. we swallow our mouths. a reduction of distance, a proximate and narrow. how to read a closet as a mouth. how to speak here, in the next room, and in the other’s mouth. in the closet we found a scribble written on the wall above the threshold, only visible if one is standing inside the closet: Whoever is reading this message, God bless you and congratulations ‘cos you are one of the few in this world who has read this. This message was written by someone who is going to be very famous one day. duration: 20 minutes.

hold. site: room on third floor facing street. at the end of close, one ends before the other
(we would alternate over the three days we performed). that person removes the door, and goes to the room, lifts one arm to stomach level, and leaves it outstretched. the other, once done, undoes the barricade and comes over to hold the awaiting arm. one holding the other for as long as possible. hand to forearm. both outstretched. two bare speakers lie on the floor beside us, one sits on top of the other. one speaks, the other listens, they feed back and create a rhythmic tic. bare speaker, barely speaking. to enclose is both to hold and to be held by your own grip. we both shake and waver imperceptibly. “It began getting very boring. Nothing happened. I felt like I was in a trance. I looked again. They seemed to exist outside of time. Then I became acutely aware I had observed them earlier as specimens, but now felt their humanity” (lucie sparham reviewing the performance for lola, fall 2001 issue). after each performance we would get the mattresses we had stored in the abandoned restaurant on the ground floor and reinstall ourselves in this room. the only one where we felt comfortable sleeping in, just barely. on the last day we noticed a bullet hole in one of the windows, it seemed to have originated from inside. duration: 15 minutes.

Christof Migone is an artist, curator and writer. He works with language, voice, bodies, performance, intimacy, complicity and endurance. He co-edited the book and CD Writing Aloud: The Sonics of Language (Los Angeles: Errant Bodies Press, 2001) and his writings have been published in Aural Cultures, S:ON, Experimental Sound & Radio, Musicworks, Radio Rethink, Semiotext(e), Angelaki, Esse, Inter, Performance Research, etc. He obtained an MFA from NSCAD in 1996 and a PhD from the Department of Performance Studies at the Tisch School of the Arts of New York University in 2007. He has released nine solo audio cds on various labels (Avatar, ND, Alien 8, Locust, Oral). He has curated a number of events: Touch that Dial (1990), Radio Contortions (1991), Rappel (1994), Double Site (1998),stuttermouthface (2002), Disquiet (2005), START (2007),STOP.(2008), and Should I Stay or Should I Go (Nuit Blanche 2010 – Zone C), and numerous others for the Blackwood Gallery between 2008 and 2013. He has performed at Beyond Music Sound Festival (Los Angeles), kaaistudios (Brussels), Resonance FM (London), Nouvelles Scènes (Dijon), On the Air (Innsbruck), Ménagerie de Verre (Paris), Experimental Intermedia (NYC), Méduse (Québec), Images Festival (Toronto), Send+Receive (Winnipeg), Kill Your Timid Notion (Dundee), Mutek, Victoriaville Festival, Oboro, Casa del Popolo, Théâtre La Chapelle, DHCArt, CAFKA, Museum Leuven, Whitney Museum, etc. His installations have been exhibited at the Banff Center, Rotterdam Film Festival, Gallery 101, Art Lab, eyelevelgallery, Forest City Gallery, Studio 5 Beekman, Mercer Union, CCS Bard, Optica. He has collaborated with Lynda Gaudreau, Martin Tétreault, Tammy Forsythe, Alexandre St-Onge, Michel F. Côté, Gregory Whitehead, Set Fire To Flames, and Fly Pan Am. A monograph on his work, Sound Voice Perform, was published in 2005. In 2006, the Galerie de l’UQAM in Montreal presented a mid-career survey of his work accompanied by a catalog and a DVD entitled Trou. A book compiling his writings on sound art,Sonic Somatic: Performances of the Unsound Body was published in 2012 by Errant Bodies Press. He has been the recipient of commissions from the Tate Modern, Dazibao, Kunstradio, Centre for Art Tapes, New Adventures in Sound Art, Radio Canada, New American Radio. He is a founding member of Avatar (Québec City). He currently lives in Toronto and is an Associate Professor in the Department of Visual Arts at Western University in London, Ontario.

Alexandre St-Onge est un artiste audio, un musicien/improvisateur (contrebasse, basse, voix et électroniques) ainsi qu’un performeur sonore. Il a récemment terminé des études doctorales en art (soutenance : 1er octobre 2014). Il est fasciné par la créativité en tant qu’approche pragmatique de l’insaisissable et a réalisé dix disques solos. Ses plus récents sont : viorupeeeeihean (Oral), Ailleurs (&records) et Entités (Oral). Il joue aussi dans plusieurs groupes musicaux avec lesquels il a créé plusieurs disques : Klaxon Gueule, Shalabi Effect, Les esprits frappeurs, Pink Saliva, mineminemine, et sans et K.A.N.T.N.A.G.A.N.O. Comme concepteur sonore il travaille et/ou a travaillé avec la compagnie d’art médiatique et interdisciplinaire kondition pluriel ainsi que les artistes Marie Brassard, Karine Denault, Lynda Gaudreau, Line Nault, Jérémie Niel, Maryse Poulin et Mariko Tanabe. Alexandre St-Onge is an audio artist, a musician/improviser (acoustic bass, bass, voice and electronics) and a sonic performer. He recently finished his PhD in art (thesis defence : October 1st 2014). He is fascinated by creativity as a pragmatic approach of the ungraspable and he has released ten solo albums. His most recent ones are : viorupeeeeihean (Oral), Ailleurs (&records) and Entités (Oral). He also plays in quite a few bands which released several albums, including Et Sans, K.A.N.T.N.A.G.A.N.O., Klaxon Gueule, Pink Saliva, mineminemine, Shalabi Effect and undo. As a composer he has worked for interdisciplinary company kondition pluriel, as well as composing for artists such as Marie Brassard, Karine Denault, Lynda Gaudreau, Line Nault, Jérémie Niel, Maryse Poulin and Mariko Tanabe.